How to Create (and Stick To) an Exercise and Diet Plan for Weight Loss

fitness and nutrition

Many different diet plans have flooded mainstream America with each claiming to be the best way to lose weight. All you have to do is take the leap and start following their plan. But which one is right for you?

Truth is, everyone’s health journey is going to look different. What works for one person may not work for someone else. So the steps to create an exercise and diet plan for weight loss are going to vary from person to person — with one common thread:

Ditching the fad diets and implementing lifestyle changes.

Let’s talk about how to set the foundation for your future success. Ready? Let’s go.

Understand Your Body

Consider your current fitness level, your capabilities, and limitations. The more you understand your body, the more realistic you can be when it comes to creating your fitness plan.

Your body will determine your fitness level. Not everyone can throw on a pair of sneakers and hit the road running. In fact, most people will have to start with a walk — maybe even a slow one around the block. And that’s ok.

As for nutrition, knowing how much weight you want to lose is always a starting point, but there is so much more you need to reflect upon. For instance, how do you feel about food? Are you an emotional eater? Do you find that you are hungrier at certain times of the day vs. others? What are the foods that you crave? Do you have an understanding of nutrition and how it impacts the body? Do you pay attention to the foods that you eat and their nutritional value? How often do you eat out?

Think about the behaviors and habits you have regarding food. This will help you to set goals as part of your plan so that you can develop a healthier relationship with food.

Set Your Goals

You want to lose weight, work out, and be healthier. So, set goals to make it happen.

Make sure you are clear as to what you are trying to achieve — and that you have actions to reach them. Using the S.M.A.R.T. Goals technique as a guide is always helpful. That means creating goals that are:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Time-bound

Be clear about your goals. Write them down — and put them where you can see them. Note that short, attainable goals are great for keeping motivation going. For example, instead of saying you want to lose 50 lbs, set a goal to lose 5. Then set another one. Get the idea?

Plan, Plan, Plan

You wouldn’t forget to show up for a hot date, would you? You wouldn’t call a meeting with your boss and leave her hanging, right? And you wouldn’t promise your kids ice cream and then not take them.

So why would you plan to take care of your health and not follow through? Treat your nutrition and fitness as you would anything important to you.

Planning your meals ahead of time as well as placing your workouts on the calendar —and sticking with them — are major keys to success. Once you begin to put these things on the back burner, you will find that it is tougher to stick to your positive, healthy changes. Therefore, ensure that you are a priority.

Enlist Help

Making lifestyle changes is hard. Many will even tell you it can be the hardest thing you will ever do. Enlisting the help of a professional to guide you along your journey can take the stress off of doing it alone.

Workout buddies are great for accountability, but a coach who can help you navigate the emotional and mental aspects of weight loss is so important for your motivation, growth, and ultimate success. Remember, you are trying to make lifelong changes — which means having an outside, experienced perspective will help you to find your way on the right path.

Monitor Your Progress

Everyone associates progress with the scale. And, depending on how well your week went, you are either excited for weigh-in day or you try to remove every ounce of anything that can possibly change the number on that scale.

But it is so important to realize that progress is much more than just a number. After all, if you are really crushing your fitness efforts, you could be losing fat — and gaining muscle. This may not always be reflected properly on the scale.

Monitor your progress by paying attention to how you feel and how your lifestyle habits are changing. Here are a few examples:

  • How much better your clothes are beginning to fit
  • How you can walk up a flight or two of stairs without batting an eye
  • How you crave fruit for dessert
  • How you showed up for each workout you planned for the week

Progress can be so many things. When you set the foundation for your weight loss and fitness goals, you are bound to notice.

You can do this.

The nutrition coaches of Beyond the Box Nutrition take you beyond dieting, helping you to create a balanced lifestyle and a healthy relationship with food with a plan designed to fit your life. 


Sarah Ross

Sarah Ross